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Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020 Jan;68(1):72-79. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1687824. Epub 2019 Apr 25.

Effectiveness of Compressive External Bracing in Patients with Flexible Pectus Carinatum Deformity: A Review.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, St. George's Hospital, London, United Kingdom.
Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.


There has been a growing interest in the nonoperative treatment of chest wall deformities over the last few decades; with the advent of external compressive orthotics, similar outcomes have been reported compared with surgical intervention. There have been fewer major complications reported with dynamic compression bracing on the chest wall; however, the Achilles heel of this approach still lies with treatment tolerability and compliance. A Medline literature search was undertaken to evaluate the evidence concerning the techniques, modifications, and outcomes associated with external compressive bracing in the setting of pectus carinatum. Sixteen articles were integrated after literature review and data were collected on methods of assessing pectus carinatum (degree of severity as well as type), patient selection protocol (i.e., suitability for external compressive bracing), the bracing protocol itself, duration of treatment, metrics used to assess outcome, and success, compliance, and dropout rate, and length of long-term follow-up. Compressive external bracing appears to be a safe and well tolerated nonsurgical treatment option for young patients with flexible pectus carinatum deformities. However, there is still a need for robust level I randomized data from multiple centers with a clearly standardized bracing protocol, objective measurement of outcomes, and recording of results at the end of the bracing treatment program in sufficiently powered sample sizes over a significant follow-up period.


Conflict of interest statement

There are no known conflicts of interest in producing this work.

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